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NAME 스타부동산 DATE17-04-19 VIEW9 COMMENT0

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GREEN CARD POLICY FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS IN KOREA.

 

REAL ESTATE INVESTORS IN JEJU & INCHEON

 

Permanent Residence Policy for Investors in Real Estate

Overview of Policy Enforcement

  • Area of applicability : Jeju island & Incheon free economic zones only.
  • Effective from : September 30, 2014
  • Condition of permanent residency: approval from the Governor of Jeju and Incheon cities.
    • Through the purchase of at least 500 million won /  700 million won in recreational accommodation facilities (condos, etc.).
    • If a property is co-owned, each co-owner must have invested at least 500 million won / 700 million won.

Obtaining Permanent Residency Status

  • Initial status: issued resident visa (F-2)
    • Investors who meet the investment requirements will be granted residency status (F-2, 3 years)
    • Accompanying spouses or children (unmarried) will be granted a two year residency visa (F-1, 2 years)
      ※ Documents to be submitted for visa: passport, certificate of title, property deeds, proof of the ability to support yourself and your family (bank balances, etc.), certificate of family relations.
  • Changing to permanent resident status (F-5)
    • Living over five years without any transgression (eg. the submission of false documents or the possession of a criminal record) will entitle you to permanent residency status (F-5).
    • Accompanying spouses and minors of permanent resident investors will be granted a permanent residence permit (including subsequent births).

Education, Health & Environment

  • Alien registration cards are issued to long-term residents, which provide benefits such as the right to enter school and also receive health insurance.

Termination of Eligibility

  • If, during their initial period of stay (5 years), residents with F-2 visa sell, mortgage, or lease their property investments, they forfeit their property investment requirement and must exit the country.
    • However, as long as the minimum investment requirement is met ($500,000 / $700,000), any excess may be used as collateral or cash.

 

Evidence of legal provisions for permanent residency for investors in real estate
Ministry of Justice notification no. 10-026

  • Notification of guidelines for real estate investment areas, investment objects, and the minimum investment amount in are specified under article 'cha' in the 'resident status' (F-2) of the 'immigration law enforcement ordinance' (no. 27, asterisk 1)
    Jan. 2010
    Ministry of Justice
  • Notification of guidelines for real estate investment areas, investment objects, and the minimum investment amount in are specified under article 'ka' in the 'resident status' (F-2) of the 'immigration law enforcement ordinance' (no. 27, asterisk 1)
    • Investment areas
      • Incheon / Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
    • Objects of Investment
      • Recreational accommodation (e.g. new homes, recreational condos, resorts, pensions (guesthouses), vacation homes) which were developed with the governor's approval based on article 229 of the Special Act 'A law for establishing Jeju Self-Governing Province and creating Jeju Free International City.'
    • Guidelines for Investment Amount
      • More than 500,000 U.S dollars / 700,000 U.S dollars (500,000,000 Korean won / 700,000,000 Korean won)
    • Enforcement date : From 1st Feb. 2010
      <Details of contents, as notified by the Republic of Korea Ministry of Justice>
  • Article 'ka' in 'resident status' (F-2) no. 27 asterisk 1 of 'Immigration law enforcement ordinance.'
    • Article 'ha' in 'permanent resident qualifications' (F-5) of 'Immigration law enforcement ordinance' (no. 28-3, asterisk 1) stipulates permanent residency as follows:
      One who satisfies article 'ka' in 'resident status' (F-2), has stayed more than five years in the country and is acknowledged by the Justice Minister to be an asset to society when considering his or her financial viability, conduct, and behavior.
    • Codes described in article 'ka' in 'resident status' (F-2) of 'Immigration law enforcement ordinance' (no. 28-3, asterisk 1)
      Foreigners who invest in assets such as real estate according to guidelines for investment areas, investment objets, and the minimum invested amount as confirmed and announced by the Minister of Justice.
      Permanent residency will only be granted to foreigners who invest a specified amount in specified objects in areas designated within Jeju Self-Governing Province based on official specification by the Ministry of Justice in line with the rules above.
  • Article 229 in the special act 'A law for establishing Jeju Self-Governing Province and creating Jeju Free International City.'
    • Regions that need to obtain the approval of the Governor of Jeju Self-Governing Province for the enforcement of development projects according to an ordinance relating to Jeju Self-Governing Province development projects and others are delegated under article 229 shown above and its items are as follows
    • Tourism businesses with a site area greater than 100,000㎡.
    • Projects for creating tourist attractions and tourism complexes.
    • Hot spring development projects of development area greater than 100,000 ㎡.
    • Projects with amusement park facilities.
    • Projects for creating farming and fishing tourism resort-complexes and others.
    •  

Homes and recreational accommodation (e.g. recreational condos, resorts, pensions [guesthouses], vacation homes)

 

Definition of "homes"

According to article 10 section 6 of rules on housing, the homes which can be sold by order of arrival.
* Homes are applicable at Incheon free economic zones only.

Definition of "recreational condos"

Buildings with more than 50 rooms, including a cafeteria, and at least one or more facilities such as an exhibit hall or swimming pool that is registered with the recreational condominium industry according to Republic of Korea's Tourist Industry Promotion Act.

Definition of "resorts"

The word 'resort' is not a legally recognized term, but it usually indicates a specialized or general recreational industry that tourists use and is equipped with accommodation like recreational condos and restaurants.

Definition of "pension"

Facilities that have obtained the approval to undertake a recreational pension business similar to recreational accommodation according to the Special Act 'A law for establishing Jeju Self-Governing Province and creating Jeju Free International City' and Jeju Self-Governing Province's Tourist Industry Promotion Ordinance.

Definition of "vacation home"

Vacation home is not a legally recognized term. It usually refers to residential facilities for recreation other than one's primary residence.

Procedure for issuing residence visa

  • Property deed (drawing up a contract form)
  • Transfer of foreign currency (foreign → domestic banks) and issue of foreign exchange purchase certificate.
    • Open a temporary account in a domestic bank and transfer money.
    • Banks issue a foreign exchange purchase certificate with the intended use and amount in the exchange of foreign currency (dollars, renminbi etc.) that has been transferred into Korean currency.
      ※ A minimum of $500,000 / $700,000 must be transferred in the event of transferring dollars.
      ※ A minimum of 500,000,000 / 700,000,000 won must be transferred in the event of transferring non US-dollar foreign-currency into Korean currency.
  • Payment of purchase price and real estate registration (issuance of certificate of title)
  • Visa application (immigration office)
    • Application form
    • Attached documents
      Passport, Certificate of title, Property deed, Foreign exchange purchase certificate, Documental proof of financial ability to support yourself and your family (bank statements, etc.), Certificate of family relations
      ※ Application for permanent residency should be made after five years of residence.

 

Definition of residence and stay

Residence

  • The concept of residence is not specifically defined in the immigration law, but confined to one category (the status of the stay) for visas and the term "stay" is used.
  • Citizens of the Republic of Korea are obliged to have and report their address under its resident registration law, but foreigners are excluded (article 6 of resident registration law).
  • According to the immigration law, a foreigner must be eligible to stay in order to enter the country and each status of stay (visa) has a fixed upper limit (article 17), except permanent residents. If a foreigner desires to stay for more than 90 days, foreigner registration is mandatory (article 31).
  • Therefore, it is interpreted that a person who acquired a residence visa by investing in real estate is able to stay in the country for a period of 3 years as defined by the F-2 visa.

Stay

  • The concept of stay is not specifically defined in the immigration law, but the words 'status of stay' and 'upper limit of stay' are used.
  • Therefore, in the case of "permanent residence granted after five years or more of stay," an exact definition of stay becomes problematic.
  • If a foreigner who underwent alien registration leaves the country, certificate of alien registration is required to be returned. It is possible to leave the country temporarily (article 37) if he or she received a re-entry permit. According to the requirement that alien registration must be undertaken in order to stay more than 90 days, staying less than 90 days in the country is not considered to be a "stay." Therefore, when calculating the length of stay, as a "stay" is interpreted as three months or more of continuous stay, previous visits of duration less than 90 days are not acknowledged.
  • Thus, when "issuing permanent residence after five years or more of stay," a calculation of the total period of stay in the country require a total of 60 months of stay accrued in individual stays of greater then three months each. That is, in case of a stay less than three months, it is not included in the calculation of the total period of stay in the country.
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